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EMT Workers Filing Whistleblower Suits

EMT Workers Filing Whistleblower Suits

 

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While many people are aware that qui tam suits arise from whistleblowers that work as contractors or accountants or even employees of healthcare facilities there is one employment group that experts are hoping will step up when it comes to filing suit under the False Claims Act- ambulatory services workers. This group is coerced or induced into Medicare fraud as much if not more than any other medical group. According to experts this group has access to or responsibility for paperwork related to ambulance services. As a result they may see inconsistencies between paperwork and facts or even be asked to fill out files such that the files don’t reflect the facts. This places the EMT in a position to help stop Medicare fraud.

It is believed that False Claims result in the loss of billions in taxpayer dollars annually. Most potential whistleblowers are unaware of the facts pertaining to qui tam procedures and protections. Whistleblowers are protected from being fired or employer retaliation and their identities are kept secret fro years if necessary. Even more important to consider is the fact that whistleblowers receive 15% to 30% of the settlement and that the average payout is a whopping $47 million. This is done not only as an inducement to be helpful but also to financially protect brave people.

Laura Baughman, head of the qui tam litigation team for Baron and Budd P.C. can give several examples of specific forms of fraud that can occur with ambulatory services. These include:

Multiple Patient Transports where a patient is shuttled about many times in an ambulance when such service is not necessary or simply claiming multiple transports took place that did not.

Misrepresentation of Time of Death is used to claim a patient was alive longer than they really were so that more can be charged.

Non-Emergency Transports are the practice of using an ambulance and charging the large sum for the service when the situation was not an emergency and regular shuttle services would be fine.

Loaded or Falsified Mileage to rack up a bigger charge by simply saying the ambulance went farther than it did.

Other possible false claims include: Multiple Payers, Upcoding and Arrangements with Hospitals/Nursing Facilities.

There are currently 2 whistleblower cases in Detroit filed by EMTs. One relates to being fired after filing qui tam complaints about discriminatory practices and the other involves a retaliation firing of a whistleblower who talked about the notorious Manoogian Mansion Party fallout.

EMTs are in a unique position as potential whistleblowers because of the many things they see and the many forms of fraud attached to their services. A great deal of taxpayer money can be save from False Claims Act suits from this specialized medical employment group.

Sources:

EMT Files Whistle-Blower Lawsuit Against City   http://www.clickondetroit.com/news/17045082/detail.html
EMS Expo and Conference (Sept. 29-Oct. 1): False Claims Attorney Laura Baughman Available to Comment on Whistleblower Issues Involving EMS Functions http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/press/involving-ems-functions-nbspnbsp,1473494.html
Detroit EMS Worker Files Whistleblower Lawsuit http://www.jems.com/article/news/detroit-ems-worker-files-whist

 
 
 

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